A Fresh Dille

a few mementos

Posted in FAMILY by clairedille on July 7, 2008
mementos to share

my sister (right) and myself (left)

Words of July

Lake Tashmoo
cousins week
bumpy dirt roads
the big white wale
poison ivy
herring creek road
the dille camp
sea glass
capture the flag
ospreys
blueberry trail
ping-pong
mermaid rock
the lodge
crabbing
my sailboat
grassy island
macy camp
humphrey's donut holes
sword grass
the sand bar
outdoor shower
the black dog
i'm a little teapot
hammock
grape stuffed cheeks
"stinky cheese and smelly eggs"

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simple marinades…tempo run.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORKOUTS by clairedille on July 6, 2008

The last of the swiss chard had to be eaten tonight.

A post-run dinner is always a leftover or something extremely quick and easy to prepare. I marinated tofu for thirty minutes after pressing it dry with paper towels and a heavy cookbook for an hour. The constant craving for asian flavors wasn’t going away any time soon. I had this marinated tofu served with chard, water chesnuts, and shiitake mushrooms. I would double the marinade for vegetables added next time and add 1/2 of the sauce with cornstarch and water to the pan while cooking.

Simple Soy-Agave Marinade

2T soy sauce
1 ½ t rice vinegar
T agave nectar
½ t sesame oil
¼ t crushed red pepper flakes

Slice half of a 14 oz package of extra firm tofu in half and reserve half for later use. Cut tofu into one-inch cubes and place in whisked marinade. Refrigerate tofu in marinade for thirty minutes. Heat medium pan and one tablespoon of sesame oil (peanut or canola work well too) on medium-high heat. Sauté for two minutes each side, until browned. Serve with stir-fried vegetables and eat immediately. (serves 2)

More ideas:

Bok choy
Broccoli (broccolini or broccoli rabe)
Bean sprouts
Sliced carrots
Bell peppers
Onions
Minced Ginger
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Snap Peas

I am excited about this right now:

Kara Goucher winning the 5000 meters at the Olympic Track & Field Trial

image from nikebiz.com

Recently I have been focusing on running injury-free. After years of shin splints resulting in stress fractures, I know that I have overdone my training too many times. One workout to rely on is the Tempo Run. This run, focusing on intensity would be an 8 out of 10 on exertion level. It is believed that tempo runs should be a slower mile warm up, 2-4 miles at tempo pace, and a nice one mile cool-down at an easy pace. The tempo run increases your lactate threshold level, which challenges your capacity to keep a faster speed for a longer amount of time. Instead of trying to run farther every time, try a fartlek or tempo run next time.

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a farmer’s market fourth.

Posted in FOOD by clairedille on July 5, 2008

The trip to the market was another success. After going to the market many times with ideas of what produce I wanted for recipes that week, I have been let down. This time I went to find what looked best. The Chioggia (or candy cane) bright red beets below the usual purple beets will be beautiful served sliced in a salad. They will be wrapped in tin foil and then baked at 400 degrees for about an hour, until tender. I will probably create a nice dressing with fresh squeezed orange juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Shallots would be a great addition as well as avocado and orange segments. After reading in Body + Soul Magazine that the key to finding the best beets was by picking the ones with the best greens, I was convinced.

I strangely adore fava beans. I blame this on my british father.

There were petite bunches of radishes.

The pattypan squash are growing in size as the season develops.

.time to get cooking.

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long weekend loves.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on July 4, 2008

How can you not love fresh berries? Berry picking is a wonderful experience and everyone should try it at least once in a lifetime. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries…it is hard to like one more than the other, in my opinion. Berries obviously go with yogurt and granola and this may be one of the only breakfasts I can stomach in the hot summer heat.

Hemp Plus granola has to be one of the tastiest of all “healthy” granolas. Nature’s Path has done it right. The Pumpkin and Peanut Butter are other flavors I’ve tried that are equally as delectable. The yogurt buried beneath the toppings is a new favorite. Typically, I choose the Vanilla Silk of the soy yogurts, but I knew it was time to venture out and try the Whole Soy cherry flavor. The real cherry taste was light, however, in comparison to the many artificially-sweetened yogurts I have tried over the years, this was a real joy to eat.

The tempeh bacon sandwich or wrap never fails. Paired with tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and a vegan mayo, the tempeh bacon smokiness is not overpowered. When cooking this “bacon” in my apartment, my friends asked what the incredible smell was and when I explained it as a vegetarian bacon, they could not believe it. The best part about the flavor is that it does not seem to be mimicking actual bacon. It could just be called smoky tempeh. Soon I hope to be eating this product in other ways, maybe even in a bacon peanut butter sandwich like my mother used to make. Yes…bacon…and…peanut butter.

I was playing with my mini mandoline again and sprinkled the wrap with shredded raw zucchini. Tomorrow I plan on making the Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles by Lolo at VeganYumYum with Zucchini Noodles. I will be sure to post on how it turns out. Friday is Farmer’s Market day here in Boston and I hope to be picking up some fresh produce. I will be sure to post about anything exciting I may find from the Massachusetts farmers. Recently, I have been contemplating whether or not I should buy my own pot of fresh herbs. The market is the perfect place to find them in pots and freshly cut, so it shall be interesting to see what feels right. Heidi Swanson’s new recipe for Lime & Peanut Coleslaw is another fresh spin on cole slaw that I am eagerly waiting to make after the market.

Doesn’t this scare everyone into wanting to be a vegetarian, or at least cutting out red meat?

Fabulous Recipe’s I have tried this week:

Banana Date Muffins @ Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Double Chocolate Cookies @ have cake, will travel!

I hope everyone has a wonderful July 4th.

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pancakes and workouts.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORKOUTS by clairedille on July 2, 2008

There are many things I love about breakfast. My most memorable breakfast occasions occur at my summer home on Martha’s Vineyard. It has been years since I have picked fresh blueberries while walking down the mile dirt road that separates my extended family from the town of Vineyard Haven. Another pathway called blueberry trail for that reason alone is a boardwalk that stretches from the road to the beach. The blueberry pancakes we have been made from these berries over the years have to be the best that I’ve ever had. I am sure everyone has at least one delicious breakfast memory. What are some of yours?

OK, before you question why this pancake looks burnt, I have to let you know that the secret ingredient is cocoa powder. Erica’s blog, Sweet Eats, keeps my stomach growling for pancakes, waffles, and french toast. I decided to make her Triple Chocolate Indulgence pancakes with a few modifications (lack of ingredients) and wow, I was truly full. This recipe was chock full of ingredients from the flax meal to the almond butter. The recipe called for chocolate hemp milk, however I only had vanilla almond milk, so I suppose my pancakes were only Double Chocolate Indulgence pancakes. The other modification was that I added a tablespoon of coconut flakes and decreased the almond butter to one tablespoon. These were the perfect way to satisfy my chocoholic cravings. There are two pancakes left for another serving tomorrow, can’t wait. Yes, I ate these for dinner but don’t worry I had a veggie filled lunch.

This is a simple salad of an organic spinach and romaine blend, chopped tomato, julienned carrots and raw zucchini, and one quarter of an avocado dressed with a homemade balsamic dijon vinaigrette. I just mixed a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard. I was in a hurry to fit in a few miles before it began to rain, so I paired the salad with butternut squash soup from Pacific Natural Foods. The butternut is the only vegan soup if anyway was interested in trying it. Before I began this vegan adventure, I did enjoy the roasted red pepper and tomato soup and I plan on making my own vegan recipe soon.

SOME WORKOUTS FOR YOU:

Here is a good  slideshow for anyone interested in weight training, specifically your arms. It has always been a struggle for me to keep muscle in my arms but I feel it is truly important to work on strength training. In high school, I was always very slim and weak in my upper body, but just two to three times a week over the past few years in college has really paid off. Here are a few other favorite moves for both the upper and lower body:

  • The Quadraped (called the Bird Dog in the video below) works your abs and butt (glutes) at the same time.
  • This video by an elite runner, Josh Cox, shows a typical workout I include in my routine: planks, push ups, and a pelvis/hip lift that works your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • The Scissor Ab crunch or bicycle is my go-to ab workout. I do this at least three times a week. It may be best to start with three sets of twenty but try to make your way up to 60. Also, try not move too fast because that is why regular crunches don’t often work.
  • The Reverse Crunch flattens your lower ab muscles but make sure not to use your arms on the ground to lift your body.
  • Triceps are definitely one of my favorite muscles and the Tri dip, also called the chair dip, is one move I have been doing since I was a freshman in high school with my Cross Country running team. Put all the weight in your arms, not your thighs and glutes.

At the GYM:

  • The Cable Press-down is great if you have a machine with the rope attachment. This is another Tricep move.
  • The Lat Pull-down for back strength helped me over the years with soreness I have had from running with my arms too high causing a sore back and upper shoulders.
  • The Leg Curl with a stability ball is great. It is similar to the hip lift I mentioned earlier and its extra difficult when you lift your pelvis with your abs as high as you can. When I first began this workout I would shake because my hamstrings were too weak. Try to move up from one set of ten reps to three sets of ten.
  • The Tricep Extension here uses a band but you can also use a weight. I do this at home with a ten pound dumbbell.
  • Another back move is the Back Extension. It is important not to go past straight when you are moving back up. If you go too far, you may be sore the next day in your lower back. You can also do it on a stability ball.

As of now, this is my basic strength routine. I do not put much emphasis on lower body moves because I run so often. I hope you can try some of these. Let me know if you have a favorite gym move that you think I should try.